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Michigan horses with mosquito-borne disease join the list of infected



File – August 26, 2019, Photo of File, Biologist Najaraisen in Salt Lake City’s Mosquito Control District examines Salt Lake City mosquitoes. State and federal health officials report an higher than normal number of deaths and illnesses from rare mosquito-borne viruses this year. Eastern equine encephalitis has been diagnosed in a large number of people in six states, with several dead by this year. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, file)

Ionia County, Michigan (WLNS) — Michigan residents are advised to protect against mosquito bites after learning that another horse is infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

In Michigan, there is an increasing number of animal cases of EEE, a rare but deadly virus carried by mosquitoes that is transmitted to humans by being bitten by infected mosquitoes.

As of September 10, 19 EEEs were found in horses in eight counties in Michigan.

People under the age of 15 and over the age of 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness after infection and should take additional measures to prevent mosquito bites.

State health officials are planning to begin aerial spraying this week to kill mosquitoes and prevent them from infecting people.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that spraying would begin Wednesday night if weather permits. This year we plan to cover 10 counties where EEE has already been found on horses.

The state conducted aerial mosquito treatment last year, this time using the same product, Merus 3.0. Ultra-small amounts of aerosols kill mosquitoes when in contact.

spray It occurs at night when mosquitoes become active and bees, which can be harmed by spraying, are safely in the hive.

The state says there were no adverse health effects on people as a result of last year’s spray. People who are sensitive to the pesticide pyrethrin should stay inside and not be exposed.

The few mosquito species that carry EEE are most active from dusk to dawn. Whenever possible, residents should avoid outdoor activities during this period.

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33% mortality rate for affected individuals and a 90% incidence rate for horses. Symptoms of EEE include fever, chills, body aches, and joint aches. EEE can lead to severe encephalitis, causing headaches, disorientation, tremor, seizures, and paralysis. Permanent brain damage, coma and death can also occur in some cases. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these signs.

Human infections are dangerous but rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 11 EEE cases per year in the United States.

From 2010 to 2019, the majority of cases occur in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina.

Freshwater hardwood swamps in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Coast, and Great Lakes regions are associated with EEE virus infection.

To avoid mosquito bites, residents should follow these steps:

• Apply insect repellents, including the active ingredient DEET or other US Environmental Protection Agency registered products, to exposed outdoor skin and clothing and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers outdoors.
• Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out.
• Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the house, such as buckets, unused children’s pools, old tires, or similar locations where mosquitoes can spawn.
• Use the net or fan at an outdoor dining area.

For more information on the EEE virus CDC website..

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